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Breaker
     

Breaker

by Kat Ellis
 

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Kyle Henry has a new name, a new school, and a new life—one without the shadow of the Bonebreaker hanging over him. It's been a year since his serial killer father's execution, and it finally looks like things are turning around for Kyle.

Until he recognizes the girl sitting in the back row in homeroom.

Naomi Steadman is immediately intrigued by Killdeer

Overview

Kyle Henry has a new name, a new school, and a new life—one without the shadow of the Bonebreaker hanging over him. It's been a year since his serial killer father's execution, and it finally looks like things are turning around for Kyle.

Until he recognizes the girl sitting in the back row in homeroom.

Naomi Steadman is immediately intrigued by Killdeer Academy's newcomer. She does not know he is the son of the man who murdered her mother. What she does know is she and Kyle have a connection with each other—and a spark that Kyle continues to back away from.

Soon after Kyle's arrival, the death count on campus starts to rise. Someone is set on finishing what the Bonebreaker started, and murdering ghosts from the past may be the only thing that can stop the spree.

Told in alternating viewpoints, Kat Ellis's tale of mystery and horror is full of broken bonds and new beginnings.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Spine-chilling and splendidly gory, with a genre-perfect stormy night denouement." —Kirkus Reviews

"Packed full of suspense, red herrings, and creepy taxidermy, this is an intriguing murder mystery and a compelling look at the ties that bind." —Booklist

"Fans of YA thrillers will be hooked from the first page. . . . A standout thriller with a splash of romance." —School Library Journal

VOYA, June 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 2) - Jonathan Ryder
Kyle Henry is a boy trying to escape his past. As the son of a serial killer, the infamous Bonebreaker, he has spent the past several years dealing with taunts, torments, and stigma. Finally, after his father’s execution, Kyle has a second chance with a new last name, a new school, and more importantly, a new city where nobody knows his background—that is, until he sees Naomi Stedman in his new homeroom. Naomi is the one person he does not want to meet . . . the daughter of his father’s last victim. Almost against Kyle’s will, Naomi and Kyle find themselves inexorably drawn toward each other, even while Kyle tries to maintain his distance from her. Suddenly, mysterious things start happening around Killdeer Academy. Personal items are getting moved around. Most shockingly, it appears that the Bonebreaker might be claiming new victims. Is Kyle doomed to follow in his father’s footsteps? Will Naomi find Kyle’s hidden secret? Only time will tell. The book is told in alternating perspectives, mainly switching between Kyle and Naomi but occasionally including such items as court documents, police reports, and undelivered letters to Kyle from his infamous father. The two main characters come off as believable and likeable and should be relatable to most readers. The narrative is well paced, although there are parts (especially toward the end) that strain believability a bit; some coincidences seem a little too contrived. The narrative leaves enough clues as to the identity of the killer that astute readers should be able to figure it out long before Kyle and Naomi. The book deals with issues of friendship, love, and identity. In spite of minor flaws, this is a solidly written book and would be welcome in most high school collections. Reviewer: Jonathan Ryder; Ages 12 to 18.
VOYA, June 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 2) - Brianna Rojas
Breaker is an excellent story; it has mystery, murder, horror, suspense, romance, and a bit of humor. Readers will feel the emotions of the characters and relate to their experiences. It lets readers hear two voices instead of just one. The way the backstories are pieced together as readers turn the pages is well done. Throughout the mystery, readers will feel the rush and suspense as things unravel. This is an amazing story; adults and teens will love this book. Reviewer: Brianna Rojas, Teen Reviewer; Ages 12 to 18.
VOYA, June 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 2) - Elizabeth Sullivan
Breaker is a chilling story that utilizes one of the most tragic of romantic ironies: a special connection between a killer’s son and a victim. It will appeal to those who crave a sinister, gory mystery more than the average Sherlock and Watson tale. The two-sided narrative style allows the reader to delve deeper into the thoughts and feelings of the characters. Excessive profanity, drug use, violence, and suspense limit the audience to age sixteen and older. Reviewer: Elizabeth Sullivan, Teen Reviewer; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
04/01/2016
Gr 8 Up—Fans of YA thrillers will be hooked from the first page. Told from alternating viewpoints, Kyle's and Naomi's backstories captivatingly unfold to reveal the gruesome connection between the two teens. Kyle has come to Kildeer Academy in an attempt to escape his past. His father—a convicted serial killer nicknamed Bonebreaker because of the vicious bludgeoning of his victims—has been recently executed. In an attempt to make a fresh start, Kyle and his fragile mother move to a different state and establish new identities. At the boarding school, Kyle finds that he is attracted to someone he recognizes from his old life and whose past is as filled with trauma as his own. The feelings are mutual; however, Naomi has no idea that Kyle's father is the one who murdered her mother. While the two teens' attraction grows, disturbing things begin to occur around them, including the appearance of unusual items that are tied to the Bonebreaker. Clearly someone knows the truth about Kyle's past, but who? What will happen when Naomi finds out the truth about Kyle? Suspicious deaths, an urban legend, and red herrings will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the satisfying conclusion. VERDICT A standout thriller with a splash of romance.—Sherry J. Mills, Hazelwood East High School, St. Louis
Kirkus Reviews
2016-02-17
A serial killer's son is drawn to the daughter of his dad's final victim. It's been years since Kyle's dad was convicted for the infamous Bonebreaker murders, and he finally has the chance to escape that legacy. Uncle Coby's somehow wrangled Kyle a place at a Pennsylvania prep school. At Killdeer Academy, he can become Kyle Henry instead of Kyle Henry Bluchevsky, the Bonebreaker's son. Surely it's only a heinous coincidence that his first friend at Killdeer turns out to be Naomi Steadman, the only girl to see the Bonebreaker and live? But it can't be a coincidence that people are dying: a girl falls from the academy roof, and a boy is found hanging in the dark. Killdeer Academy provides a suitably Gothic setting for these new deaths: the ivy-covered turrets, the alcoves populated by dusty taxidermic birds, the campus hidden behind iron gates in the deep woods, once a mental institution until arson by inmates in the 1940s left many in the asylum dead. Chapters interleave Kyle's voice with Naomi's (both are white), occasionally interrupted with news clippings, court documents, and other ephemera. These, along with subtle in-story hints (and numerous red herrings) slowly paint a picture of the Bonebreaker's past—and Killdeer's present. Spine-chilling and splendidly gory, with a genre-perfect stormy night denouement: the power cut, the phones out, the corpses revealed by lightning. (Thriller. 12-15)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762459087
Publisher:
Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date:
05/24/2016
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,314,781
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Kat Ellis is the author of Blackfin Sky, which was a Junior Library Guild selection and a 2015 YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults selection. She currently lives in Denbighshire, North Wales, with her husband and feral cat.

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